WORKPLACE / MAY. 28, 2015
version 4, draft 4

Millennials Don't Want to be Millennials

Millennials are often described by their older peers as a demographic that is more concerned about purchasing morning lattes, finding the perfect selfie, and standing in line to buy the newest smartphone than getting jobs, saving money, and being friendly. Is this true? Well, is there another reason why millennials dislike other millennials?

See Also: 5 Ways Millennials Can Stop Acting Entitled

Poll Says Millennials Don’t Like Millennials

It seems like members of the most talked about and most researched generation are actually embarrassed to be a part of the 1980-2000 clique, and are overwhelmingly thumbing down their own millennial peers, says a new poll released last Friday.

According to a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, a little more than one-third (34 percent) of respondents between 18 and 35 identify themselves as millennials. Exactly two-thirds of survey participants reported the term millennial doesn’t describe them well.

It remains unclear if the researchers provided the respondents with definitions or adjectives affiliated with the generational term. However, it’s safe to say that they understood the actual meaning behind the word ‘millennial’, and all of the positive and negative connotations associated with it.

Details of the Findings

For those that did identify themselves as millennial were more likely to be active on social media (51 percent on Tumblr and 48 percent on Twitter), college graduates (47 percent), an Asia-Pacific Islander (45 percent), and liberal (43 percent).

What was interesting in the survey were the results among those who refrained from self-identifying as a millennial. For instance, among the 18-35 respondents who did not agree with the millennial label, 73 percent were conservative, 79 percent did not have Internet at home, and 76 percent had a high school education or less.

Implications of the Survey Results

"While most millennials avoid adopting the label—whether out of negative connotations it carries or because they are unfamiliar with it—some millennials are more likely to reject it than others," the study authors said in a statement.

Does this survey suggest negative implications for millennials? It’s quite possible that it reveals that millennials are simply fed up with other members of their generation giving them a bad name. Perhaps for every clean cut, hard-working and eloquent millennial, there are three others that say "like" three times in one sentence, take selfies every hour of the day, and study medieval history.

At the same time, if millennials are refusing to call themselves millennials, then are they really millennials? In a technical sense, yes, but in a lifestyle sense, no.

Or perhaps akin to what The Washington Post espoused: it maybe isn’t an effective term or descriptor for millions of people that are part of a group that is now dominating both the workforce and the consumption economy.

See Also: Study Aims To Bust Millennial Myths

Since 2013, a year when the term really experienced liftoff, millennials have had to deal with generalizations and offensive explanations of who and what they are. Ostensibly, these things will never disappear and they will only have to deal with more as time goes by. Of course, millennials can dispel many of the myths perpetrated by simply not doing them. Until then, millennials will persist in disassociating themselves from those born between 1980 and 2000.

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